I’m so happy to see you! If you’re looking for more projects,

check out 250+ repurposed furniture ideas.

DIY Kitchen Island

I made an island for my kitchen.  It is going to be multipurpose. It is almost bar height. Most of the year it will be my “craft” station in the kitchen, hopefully keeping me a little more organized.  This is not a teaser post (like some people I know). I have not finished the island/bar/craft center. I hope to finish it today.
100_7207 I looked at several pieces of furniture. I did tons of measuring.  This is my mom’s old dresser. I tried to make it work but it was too big.

I tried this dresser too, but I figured out that a dresser was never going to work.

This is jamie’s room. It has not changed much in the last 15 or so years.  Her room is on my to do list, even though I have already tackled the dreaded orange shellacked woodwork. I never made it past the desk.  I didn’t even check the other pieces of furniture in her room.

I brought the desk into the kitchen to see if it was the right size.  It seemed to fit the space pretty well.

The real test was to see if it would “park” where I wanted to put it when I need it out of the middle of the kitchen floor.

Remember these legs I picked up from Joey’s booth right before the peddler’s mall closed?

repurposed desk
This is a dry fit to see if everything is going to work.  The OSB was a cull bin purchase for .51 cents.

I didn’t want the OSB to be visible so I cut a piece of luan and glued it on top of the OSB. That makes a smoother painting surface.


After I glued and nailed the luan down I attached the feet.  The best way to know where to put your screws is to put the foot on top, and draw an outline.  I used Gorilla Wood Glue and 2 inch drywall screws.

Now on to attaching the desk to the base.
I set the drill bit on my Kreg Jig® R3   to the correct thickness of the wood.

I also set the Kreg Jig Jr to the correct setting.

I clamped the jig to the legs of the desk and drilled. The collar on the drill bit keeps you at the perfect depth.

Pretty pocket holes!  (ugly OSB)   My pictures are a little out of order. I drilled the holes and did all the fitting before I attached the luan.

desk into island bar
Here ya go!

repurposed desk into island
I put screws in pocket holes on both legs, and on the front and back on the left side.  If you look close, you can see I also put screws in that cleat on the inside left. I also put screws on the cleat opposite of that one. And… you KNOW  I also used Gorilla Wood Glue.  I put 2 1/2 inch casters on each of the feet. You can also see that I removed the trim piece that had been under the drawer section.

I put bead board on both sides and the back. None of the bead board matches. On this side, it’s actually tongue and groove.

On the back it is bead board paneling I got at jamie’s home depot cull bin.  (note the lack of wood trim)

On the left side here it is some different bead board paneling.  Here it is in the paint booth waiting for a coat of primer.

desk repurposed into island
After I painted it I had to go BUY trim!  How sad is that!  I had several pieces and sizes but not enough to do the whole thing.  Under the drawer you will see that I used a scrap piece of bead board to trim out the area that was left open after I removed the original trim.
Did you notice I removed the drawer above the knee hole? I wanted to make it comfortable to sit at on a bar stool. Removing that drawer made me sad, but I want to be able to store the bar stool under the table when not in use.

It basically looks like this currently. I did get the white baseboard painted with primer. I want to finish painting it today with the paint sprayer. However I’m afraid it won’t be warm enough.  Regardless, I will get it painted today and show you the finished product tomorrow. Granted it may not be IN the kitchen, but it will be finished.
edited to add: Kitchen Island from a desk completed.    I have now updated the island again


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
A teacher at heart, Gail relishes the chance not to show off her projects, but to help others find their inner handywoman, step-by-step. Her blog, MyRepurposedLife.com, chronicles her scrap-saving adventures and has been featured on countless DIY magazines and websites, including Women’s Day, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy. She is a longtime influencer for both Krylon spray paint and Gorrilla Glue. With a tribe of more than 400,000 followers, Gail is inspiring a new generation of DIYers to pick up some tools and get to work.
About gail@myrepurposedlife.com


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Saw this a week ago and just had to make my own. :) I used some tips from you and another blogger, just wanted to let you know that you helped give me the confidence that I could do something like this (despite my lack of amazing tools that you have)!! Look for the blog (http://focusdoctor.blogspot.com) later this week, as I’ll be mentioning you for a big thanks!! You gave me the confidence to do my own. :) :)

  2. Awesome Post, Ive been wanting to make something like this for my kitchen for ages.It probably wont go any further than my mind but still nice to dream about lol. You are so clever and creative! I love it! Your Brilliant!

  3. Awesome Post, Ive been wanting to make something like this for my kitchen for ages.It probably wont go any further than my mind but still nice to dream about lol. You are so clever and creative! I love it! Your Brilliant!

  4. Amazing. I need help cutting a piece of beadboard wallpaper and you are crafting your own kitchen island! Can’t wait to see it all done up pretty and functional in your kitchen space :)

  5. I just love how you reuse things, and make them look even better than they did before (when they usually looked fine to start with!). Amazing. It’s a great idea for an island too. Can’t wait to see!

  6. who else would think to take an old desk like that and make it into an island? um, nobody else! you are so clever and creative… i wish i could crawl into your head and see how you think. or maybe i am better off not knowing. 😉

  7. who else would think to take an old desk like that and make it into an island? um, nobody else! you are so clever and creative… i wish i could crawl into your head and see how you think. or maybe i am better off not knowing. 😉

  8. I wish I could take a field trip through your mind. That was incredibly clever. Can’t wait to see it finished.

  9. so excited to see the final product!

  10. This is awesome, can’t wait to see it finished!

  11. Love the choice of the desk to make into the island. And about teasers, methinks you doth protest too much. lol.
    Hope you get to finish painting today so we can see the finished product. You sure do make a good salesperson for that pocket hole tool. I have officially put one on the top of my wish list!

  12. Lookin’ good! I hear ya about the too cold to paint. I’ve had to more my project into the house. The living room to be exact. If that doesn’t get you moving your butt, nothing does!

  13. Love the DIY Island…one day I will work up to a project like this. Also great dressers that ended up not working for this project. I know they will look great with whatever you decide to do with them. Looking forward to the finished DIY Island! :-) ~Iris~

  14. Oh I love your mom’s dresser! Too bad it didn’t work. But of course you came up with another great idea. It amazes me how you can make it all work like that.

  15. What an awesome repurposed project! I just recently found your blog, and I look forward to seeing each of your posts. You come up with some terrific ideas and projects! Can’t wait to see this one completed. You inspire me! Happy repurposing, Gail!

  16. You simply amaze me.. loving your little island, cant wait to see it all done.

  17. I’m so excited to see it! What an amazing project.

  18. Seriously Girl.. How did you learn to do all that?? You continue to amaze!! Just beautiful, can’t wait for the full reveal.

  19. Yet another teaser in blogland… hahaha… can’t wait to see the big reveal… so far it is looking great. Love the idea that you made it a little sitting area too… I am sure you will get a lot of use out of it.

    Have a great day and hopefully it is warm enough for your painting today. This weather really puts a damper on trying to get things done.

    Hugs, Deb

  20. Ohhhh I know you aren’t teasing…but I can’t WAIT to see the finished project!! CUTE!!

  21. Oh Gail, you are just soooo smart! I love those legs and what a great idea to make it comfortable to sit at. I am one to “make do” and “deal with it”. So glad you’re around to help make like easier… if I ever get to my pile of furniture!

  22. Hey Gail, that is turning out just adorable! You know me, I LOVE beadboard! :) I noticed in the last picture that the top was off…are you putting a different one one, or did you just do that for painting or something? I adore the little feet you put on it!
    Hey, by the way, did you get the letter my mom wrote to you about the cabinets she wanted you to build? She said she wrote you a little bit ago and didn’t hear back…I thought she might have sent it to the wrong email or something. Just checkin’ for her. :)
    Can’t wait to see your finished kitchen, I bet it’s gonna be cute!! :)
    OH and I LOVE your mom’s dresser!!!!
    Love ya girlie
    Missy :)

  23. You are so talented! Look forward to seeing it

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I read and appreciate every word!